Imogene M. King was born January 30, 1923 in West Point, Iowa and received a diploma from St. John Hospital School of Nursing in St Louis, MO in 1945. She earned a BSN in 1948 and MSN in 1957 from St Louis University and a Doctor of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, N.Y. (1961) (Teachers College, Columbia University Hall of Fame inductee). King served as Assistant Chief, Research Grants Branch, Division of Nursing, Washington, D.C. (1966-1968 under Dr. Jessie Scott.). She was director of the Ohio State University, School of Nursing (1968-1972). King was an Associate Professor (1961-66) and Professor (1971-1980) at Loyola University. Chicago. King retired in 1990 after serving as Professor, College of Nursing, University of South Florida. Tampa, Florida, with the title Professor Emeritus. Until her death, she continued to speak at local, regional, national and international conferences and consulted with undergraduate and graduate students who were using her theory and developing theories from her Systems Framework. She was an active member of District IV, Florida Nurses Association (FNA) (past President of the Florida Nurses Foundation and FNA Hall of Fame inductee), American Nurses Association (ANA 1996 Jessie Scott Award and Hall of Fame Inductee) and Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI 1989 Elizabeth Russell Founders Award and a Virginia Henderson Fellow) and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (2005 Living Legend Inductee).
Dr. King was a faithful Catholic and avid golfer. She communicated daily via e-mail with nurses throughout the world. Imogene died on December 24, 2007. A special memorial service was held in St Petersburg, Florida on January 4, 2008 with the burial and service in Fort Madison, Iowa on January 19, 2008. At both services, Dr Patricia Messmer read the Nightingale Tribute which included a synopsis of King’s career and a poem, “Imogene was There”. Seven green Irish roses symbolized the seven decades of her career. A Nightingale Lamp from the University of Pittsburgh, her St John’s School of Nursing graduation picture and a current photo were also displayed at both memorial services. Her papers and memorabilia are at the Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. King at the STTI 34th Biennial Convention in Indianapolis, IN., December 3-4, 1997 at the book signing for her and Dr. Jacqueline Fawcett, The Language of Nursing Theory and Metatheory published by STTI in 1997.
Dr. King helped organize the 1991 Biennial Convention of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International which was held in Tampa, Florida. From left: Marinell Jernigan Bostian, Cecilia Grindel, Judy Beal, Imogene King, Marie Lobo and Beth Vaughan-Wrobel. Vaughan-Wrobel was installed that year as president.
L to R:
Dr. Tomomi Kameoka, Kumiko Hongo, Midori Sugimori, Dr. Imogene King, Dr.
Naomi Funashima, Dr. Wakako Sadahiro.